Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Urgent update from the Save The Midland Hotel in Hendon Campaign - Guest blog by Dave Paterson

I’m writing this blog regarding a serious turn of events. The owners, EEH Estates Ltd, recently met with the licensee, John Teahan, to demand a punitive and astonishing rent rise of c.£8,000 a month. This ridiculous figure bears no relation to trading conditions in this corner of the borough, nor the ability of The Midland Hotel to service such a debt. The owners provided no evidence in support of their figure - local market conditions, site barrelage, turnover, or a shadow profit and loss account, so we must conclude that this punitive demand is an arbitrary figure plucked out of the ether, a figure primarily designed to intimidate.

Given that the owners first plan for the Midland was its demolition - which we successfully thwarted last year - and that our last meeting with them was taken up with similar discussions, it is fanciful to imagine that EEH has any long-term ambitions to run a successful hospitality retail business on this site. In which case, we can view this outrageous and unsustainable rent demand as a crude device to get rid of the licensee - and you need to know that this is indeed the case. 

This morning John received a letter from an  "In House Legal Council” for EEH Ventures, dated 8th November, informing him : “there shall be a rent increase to the total amount of £10,000 per month” and “look forward to hearing from you within seven days of the date of this letter”. That’s to say, by Friday.
Though not put in writing, John has been told that he will be evicted unless he agrees to this piracy! Like any shop-owner, EEH Estates Ltd have the right to board-up the site and cease trading anytime they choose.

Be that as it may, whatever EEH intends to do with the Midland will require planning permission at some point, and that will be the time and place for the MHCG, customers, supporters and local residents alike to take a stand. Having thwarted their plans once, there is no reason why we would not be able to do so again - in fact, with our Asset of Community Value listing in place, I’d say our case is even stronger today than it was.

On a note of interest to the wider community, EEH has also made it clear that if they don’t get what they want with The Midland they can “just walk away.”  I know that many of you would consider that to be no bad thing indeed.  It’s quite clear, beyond doubt, that The Midland Hotel stands in the way of the owners' designs. 

So please get behind us. It’s time to save The Midland once again.
Dave Paterson
Midland Hotel Community Group
Editors comment.

As regular readers will know John and the Midland have been great supporters of the Barnet Eye. It is the venue for our annual community awards this year (assuming it is still open). John has given many artists a chance to perform over the years. It is vital that we do everything we can as a community to support the venue and all of our other local venues. The local councillors and our local MP must get involved as a matter of urgency to ensure that the owners know the importance to the community of the Midland Hotel. 

Please join us on Friday 13th December at 8pm at The Midland Hotel, Hendon, for the Barnet Eye Community awards and annual Xmas party. We are also looking for nominations for our community awards, click here for details. Free admission

No comments: